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Paragliding Blue Rock_Mid launch_Poison Oak, CA

Paragliding Blue Rock_Mid launch_Poison Oak, CA

best Conditions

Wind Dir. : W WSW SW SSW
Wind: Mini: 7| Maxi 25 mph Gust Max : 22 mph


H 173 m, HD 90 m
rating 3/6
frequently used, soaring, thermalling, some xc
Direct link to flights
Region: - USASee flights near this point [ 74 ]Site record : 156.9 kmLink to more information : -
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Site intro is required.
We will consider intro to a P2, but site is best for P3 and above. Please call 707-YOU-SOAR to request a site intro. We have committed to this procedure with City and Parks authorities. Site is not vetted for HG.
Land-out options plentiful between the primary ridge and Columbus Parkway.
Few options to top-land or side-hill land (unlike Channing)
Active piloting rqd.
Winds for flying BR are reliable March thru October. Dec-Jan less frequent flying – but surprisingly, once or twice a week we get a west breeze before sunset at upper (viagra) launch when not W or WNW, don’t fly Blue Rock. Channing-east is good on many winter days.
Spring flights are awesome.
Summer flying noon-4 is usually rowdy. Evenings are mostly OK.
Fall flights thru sunset – smooth and plenty of lift.
Launch low if blowing, stay low/out front & watch for mechanical turbulence.
Upper launch if mild to light, but even then we’ve seen whacks (partial collapse) as thermals mix.
Blowback risk is less than Channing in all winds
More turbulence and whacks than Channing.
Whacks noted when weather change is underway, for instance sea-breeze overtaking mid-day thermal.
Broader flying conditions. Hike to the upper launch when it seems calm at bottom. Or use lower launch if you feel sufficient breeze while on the trail up – pick a cycle – you’ll rise quickly after launch.
As the breeze dies or thermal conditions subside, more than 4 wings is a risk, since the over-ridge band of lift is limited: Locals > please LAND OUT and allow visitors to fly.
During season the north slope launch is most often used. This large side-slope has become popular for smooth launches in all air, and provides the best protection from sinking out since the long south-traverse (without turn) allows greatest chance to rise to ridge-top. This launch is typically in a slight cross-wind.
Caution – Lifting your wing at the top of this large slope risks a drag into a nasty rock formation. Lift your wing lower on the slope, kite until you’re comfortable.
This launch is also one of the only possible top-landings. However CAUTION – DON’T ATTEMPT TO LAND AT NORTH SLOPE LAUNCH unless you have strong side-hill landing skills. Make several passes before attempting to side-hill land – and always remember you can fly it out instead of land. (each pass try to get lower & eventually glide upslope close to the ground & slowing). A deep-flair landing attempt (fall 2009) resulted in stall and the worst-yet crash at BR (light-moderate smooth evening air).
Top launch at “viagra” in lightest airs. Just south of North launch, layout at hill-top. We’ve primarily used this launch Nov-Feb. The barbed wire fence in back is intimidating.
Forward launch in zero wind? From Viagra walk north 75 yds to the top of North slope for a good venue to layout & run.
LZ options are huge, we have yet to see significant turbulence or rotor. Site contacts can explain other landing options. Be aware sizeable rocks are hidden in the brush. Typical LZ is gravel lot of College parking but this means crossing Columbus parkway with sufficient height. Bailout LZ is along north-side of SJM road (this is usually a dirt-band due to vegetation control). Examine this LZ at left of SJM road during your walkup.
Site contact
707-YOU-SOAR (707-968-7627) is updated with current conditions & predicted PG activity
Leave a message of any length (speak clearly) – you’ll be called back.
Emergency contacts:
Joel McMinn 707-758-1078
Ron Lee 707-333-8308
Rob Black 707-853-6912
Klaus Schlueter 415-425-7391
Directions & Access
I-80 to the north-most exit in Vallejo “Napa-37/Columbus Drive”
East on Columbus drive 1+ miles (ridge on left)
Do not park or turn-in to entry of St Johns Mine rd.
Park on right at Solano College (parking-kiosk $1)
WALK UP St Johns Mine Rd. Do not drive up SJM road for any reason.
While walking up SJM road, observe the walkup trail to low, mid and upper launches.
Top launch at “Viagra” in light airs
Do not cross the fence at ridge top.
Stay out of fenced area near SJM/Columbus. (protected frogs!)
SJM road is marked NO TRESPASSING etc. No worries, as it is actually public. Politely decline conversation with any hostile or authoritative local, inform them that your site-intro included all precautions and necessary observances.
Star-thistle gets nasty in July, however the trails to launches are OK.
Help us continue to open this site:
Entire territory west of the ridge-fence, both sides of SJM road, is Vallejo-owned property. We are in regular contact with Vallejo & Parks authorities, and there is no indication flying will be prohibited or restricted. BE COURTEOUS. PICKUP THE TRASH OF OTHERS. FOLLOW OUR SJM ROAD RULES. REMIND OTHER PILOTS. AVOID LOW LANDING APPROACHES OVER COLLEGE LOT. (xc info)
Pilots have been flying almost daily at Blue Rock, since April 1, 2009.
Flying is awesome during the springtime.
The conditions are rowdy during the summer season, between noon and 4:00 PM, but summer evenings are typically OK.
You can fly in smooth lift until sunset, during the fall.
Please fly with caution and follow these instructions to insure that we can continue to fly at this newly opened site.
Regulations and Requirements
Current USHPA membership and a site intro are required.
Recommended for P3+ rated pilots.
HGs are not permitted at this time.
The land owners are insured by USHPA site insurance (provided by BAPA).
Please be courteous, remove trash from the trail, follow the access rules and make sure that others do so, as well.
Local Contacts for Site Intros
Joel McMinn - 707-you-soar or 707.968.7628 Joel's Site Guide
Rob Black - 707.853.6912
Joe Cruz - 707.688.5483
Ron Lee - 707.333.8308
Klaus Schlueter - 415.425.7391
The upper north launch offers smooth launches in all conditions. This launch provides the best options to avoid sinking out, since the long southern traverse presents an opportunity to rise to the ridge-top.
This launch typically has a slight crosswind. Pease note: Pulling your wing up at the top of this launch puts you at risk of being dragged into a nasty rock formation, so you should lift your wing up lower on the slope.
This launch also works for top-landings. However do not attempt to top-land at the upper north launch unless you have strong strong side-hill landing skills. You should make several passes before attempting to top-land and, if in doubt, fly to the bottom to land. Deep-flair landings on the top can result in stalling your wing, even in light/moderately smooth evening air.
There are many LZ options, with minimal turbulence or rotors. Be aware of large rocks hidden in the brush. As of April 2011, landing is not permitted on Solano College property or parking areas.
Long flights are typical.
Land-out options are plentiful, between the primary ridge and Columbus Parkway. There are few top and side-hill landing options.
"Active piloting" is required.
This site works best in W or WNW winds.
Launch low on the slope in strong winds. Stay low and in front of the ridge and watch out for mechanical turbulence.
Use the upper launch only in light to moderate winds. Pilots have experienced asymmetric collapses, even in mild/light conditions, due to thermals mixing with wind.
The blowback risk is less than at the Channing Hill site, in all wind conditions, but there is more turbulence at Blue Rock.
"Whacks" are most common when weather changes are underway (for example, when sea breezes overtake the mid-day thermals).
Hike to the upper launch when the wind is calm at the bottom and use the lower launch if you feel a good breeze while hiking up. Either way, you'll rise quickly after launch.
It is recommended that only four pilots fly the ridge at one time in light conditions, as ridge space is limited. Please be considerate -- don't monopolize the ridge -- land and let others fly.
Take I-80 to the "Napa-37/Columbus Drive" exit in Vallejo. Proceed East on Columbus Drive for a little over a mile. The ridge will be on your left.
There is a wind meter on top of the Benicia-Martinez Rail Road bridge, 7miles southeast of Blue Rock. Look for W or WNW, averaging 8-15 mph and gusting less than +4 mph. Pilots have had excellent flying when the wind meter reads 20-25 mph, as well as when it reads 6-10 mph, especially in early evening glass-off conditions.
N038° 08' 11.12"   W122° 11' 44.94"© · last update 1/2023Feedback / Correction
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